Sunday, June 30, 2013

San Juan Island

For my birthday, we celebrated by spending yesterday on San Juan Island.  The kids had never been on a ferry before and we'd never been to any of the San Juan Islands, so we were very excited. Here's our San Juan Island trip (mostly in pictures).  

We got up at the crack of dawn, well... it felt like the crack of dawn, to get on the ferry.  This picture was taken while we were in line waiting to drive onto the ferry.  This is Anacortes.

We had about an hour of waiting in this "driveway" like parking lot. 

We watched the ferry to Canada take off.  Our ferry would be next. 

 Driving onto our ferry!

So excited to be on the ferry at last! 

We had a nice view of Mt. Baker and the Northern Cascade Mountain Range as we left.  Thankfully the fog burned off by then.

Driving past a small community on Lopez Island...

a small community, with their own little airport.  

After about an hour on the ferry, we got our first glimpse at Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island.  

Pulling into Friday Harbor.  I took one last quick picture and then hurried back to the car.  It would be time to unload soon.  

So many boats.  Friday Harbor.  From here you can find boat taxis to take you to the smaller islands that don't have ferry service.  We didn't do that though.

Cool sailing vessel in Friday Harbor.  Had to get a picture of it.  

I only had two places on San Juan Island that I really wanted to see.  The rest of the time was just going to be looking around and seeing what we could find.  

One of the places I wanted to see is called Cattle Point Lighthouse.  We decided to go there first since it was closer to town.  Then we'd have lunch back in town before going to the other lighthouse.  

Parking is up on a plateau, overlooking the water, with Cattle Point Lighthouse being a little dot across the water.  

Finding a way down to the beach at Cattle Point Lighthouse.  

They made it!

All of us loved walking and climbing all over the rocks along the shoreline.  It was so much fun.  No plans, no timeline, no schedule, just wander until we felt we were finished (or got hungry, which is what happened).  

Getting closer.  

  Taylor lead us over a meadow of wildflowers to the lighthouse.  

 After Cattle Point Lighthouse, we headed back to Friday Harbor and walked around until we found a place to eat.  Then it was off to Lime Kiln Lighthouse.  I couldn't believe how fast the day was flying by. 

Lime Kiln Lighthouse is known for it's whale watching.  They actually have a biologist on location, tracking and recording all kinds of data, such as water temp. and number of boats on the water, besides whale sightings. 

Speaking of whale sightings, we were told while we were there that there had not been any whales for several days, and then they all of a sudden just showed up the night before and then again at about 11am that morning.  

Awesome.  We were at the other lighthouse at 11am that morning.  If we would have gone straight to that lighthouse first, we would have seen orca whales, up close.  

We were bummed, but how were we to know.  We had no way of knowing.  They said that they expected them back that evening, but we'd be back on the ferry at that time.  

  We had so much fun.  The whole day was great.  We got some ice cream cones and salt water taffy and said good-bye to San Juan. 

 Back on the ferry again. 

"Good-bye, we'll miss you!"

View from the ferry on the way back.  Why do ferry rides always feel like they take twice as long on the way back?  Maybe it's just that I was hoping it would take half as long, and I ended up disappointed in that. 

Well, it was still the best family day ever!  It was exactly what I wanted for my birthday.  I couldn't have asked for better!  Thank you to my family for a fantastic day.  I love you all so much!



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cornet Bay Hike & Mutiny Bay

This last weekend I chose the hike we went on.  Turns out, I'm not good at it.  I did zero research.  I just saw it on a map and thought it looked good. 

We parked at Cornet Bay and started walking.  We were under the impression we'd end up on Hoypus Point.  

 So we walked for a little while and then ran into MUD!  

Then we turned around and went another way... until we ran into more MUD!

 Then we turned around and walked until we came to more... yep, you guessed it, MUD!  

So finally we just turned around and left.  The trails just didn't gain any elevation to get us up out of the mud. 

And the only view was the one near the parking.  This is Cornet Bay.  That's Deception Bridge in the background.  Usually we're on the other side of the bridge, on North Beach.  

Since we didn't get much of a hike in, we drove south to Mutiny Bay, to see what we'd find there.  

We found a state park with a half mile walk to the beach.  This is a view from the path.  

Mutiny Bay, I have no idea how it got it's name, but I wish I did, sounds like it would be an interesting story.  

Anyway, it's a pretty and a secluded place.  There were a few people there, so we kept wandering down until we had the beach to ourselves.

 The kids enjoyed their time at the beach, wading, 


digging in the sand,

and just having a great time in the water.  They found seaweed, crabs, rocks, 

and sticks.  

Then we looked back and noticed our beach was disappearing.  The tide was coming in, not going out. That's when we decided we were wet enough and it was time to head back to the car.  

Good-bye to Mutiny Bay, for now.  We will be back again!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Few Things We've Come Across While Here

I have pictures of things we've come across during our stay here.  So I thought I just share them.  It'll be a hodge-podge kind of post.  

One cold and windy day, we decided to drive to the very end of the island to see what we could see.  Turns out, not much.  

There was a cargo ship and low tide and low clouds and no where to park and look around. 

It's all private land, with homes and stuff.  This place is called Cultus Bay and it's as far south as you can go on Whidbey Island.  Or at least as far south as we could go.  


There's a Veteran's Memorial near the Marina.  It's dedicated to the soldiers from the island who flew in war.

                                    Taylor with the "pilot."

Logan's turn with the "pilot."  We were out on a bike ride, seeing how far we could go.  

 We made it all the way to the marina, two miles from home, 

 where the kids found a little park they enjoy playing at.

A permanent sign was erected about a fire in 1920 that burned half the town at the time.  It was before they had a fire department.  I bet they got one soon after that.  

Fred Flintstone's car?!?  How in the world did it end up here?

When James & I refer to this as Flintstone Park, (which is it's real name), the kids have no idea what we're talking about.  They call it the "Cement Steamroller Park." 

Some interesting cloud formation, near Flintstone, I mean, Cement Steamroller Park.  The sky here is always changing.  

Rarely have we seen a cloudless day.  I didn't even think it was physically possible for first couple of weeks.  There are always at least distant clouds visible.  Of course, it's still June.  We'll see what July and August bring.  

Another cool thing about living on an island is that Scouting activities on the beach might be more frequent.  Here's Logan on his "hike/service project," where he was supposed to be picking up trash on the shore.  It's nearly impossible for him to stay off driftwood if it's anywhere in the vicinity, though.

Then he received his World Conservation Badge.  Here he is telling the Cub Master how he had to learn about recycling and stuff, to earn this badge. 

And here's the badge.  He's also earned, but has yet to receive, two more silver arrow points.  

Good job, Logan!  

So there you have it, our hodge-podge post of things we've been seeing and doing around here.